Archive for June, 2010

Jun 25
2010

A multimedia presence (i.e. such as TV, Radio, Magazine ads, etc.) has always been an imperative part of a complete marketing strategy. The Internet, in a way, has skyrocketed each of these forums to the next level. For video marketing, YouTube would be that rocket.

Whether you’re a small business or large corporation, YouTube videos/channels are as key of a component in having a comprehensive online marketing presence as having a main website or social media channels.

I’ll admit, when I first heard of YouTube, I was thinking to myself, “Ummm, not everyone can afford a video camera.” “How large are video files anyway?” “No one is going to go through the trouble of converting these gargantuan video files then uploading them.” “Why would someone want to display their videos for the world to see anyway?” Of course, my psychic intuition was horribly, utterly, and ignorantly wrong. :(

Your freedom to upload and share almost ANYTHING – personal movies, clips, slideshows, even audio with still backgrounds – is quite liberating and the attention feels great.

On the other end, that “play” button is like a shinny red button to a toddler calling our names – “PUSH MEEEEEeeeee!”  Rarely does it disappoint ether – “OOOOooooh, moving images and colors!”  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video may be analogous to volumes of books.

A world of moving images are at your fingertips – find anything – from videos on how to make tiramisu to personal home videos of your buddies breaking the world record for eating the most peanut butter sandwiches in a minute.

With the embed code being so easily accessible (and even sites like Facebook automatically translating YouTube urls into embed’s), it’s easier than ever to SHARE your videos.  Mix in “heeelarious” content that your friends have to see and pass on, and born is the viral video – spreads like a virus – millions of views in a small amount of time.

YouTube.com now is the second most used search engine (next to king Google). It would only be a matter of time before advertisers/marketers (including all major corporations) took notice of the value of this amount of views and would devise plans to take prime advantage of this phenomenon. For example, Dell attributes 2 million of its sales to YouTube.

YouTube and Your Business

How can you take advantage of YouTube to market your products or services? It’s 100% free to create a channel, and easy to customize and brand as your business’s own video page. Upload an unlimited number of videos that are automatically indexed and searchable by not only YouTube, but google as well.  Make your videos easy to share.  Finally, generate enough interest and your YouTube videos can go a long way in bringing you attention, potentially resulting in revenue.

General Tips for Maximizing YouTube Marketing Value

Good content – bottom line – content is king. Nothing can replace good content. If your goal is to have a video go viral, your content should hopefully accomplish the following.

  • Share-worthy – Your video should make viewers want to share with friends. It’s best if this increases your views exponentially, meaning every 1 viewer passes it to at least 2 people.
  • Replay Value – Your video should cause viewers to want to replay it.

Generally, viral content is usually gut-busting comedy or captures something absolutely amazing and rare to see. Another great way to get a lot of views are “How-To” videos – answering a common question with a brief instructional video. Of course, creating content like this is easier said than done. :)

Call-To-Action Slide – Many videos begin and conclude with a slide that has an organizations branding, call-to-action, or contact information.

Take FULL Advantage of Social Networks – by now, if you’ve jumped on the social media bandwagon, you’re checking your Facebook or Twitter as much as your email. You’ve probably added friends you’ve never even really met. You may even realize that you’re connected to a huge web of millions upon millions of people – an extremely valuable marketing resource if you can tap into as many connections as you can.

  • Post the video on your facebook wall, twitter wall, blog, social bookmarks, myspace etc!
  • Post often and ask friends to share and post as well!
  • Note: just be careful to be balanced and not to spam your friends’ feeds, which will cause the opposite reaction – everyone to ignore you.

Best Time to Launch a Video – it’s argued that Friday and Sunday are the best days to launch a video, either during lunch or after work.

YOUTUBE SEO: Increase Your Ranking in YouTube Search (and even Google)

“ike any search engine, youtubes ranking is based on certain algorithms in which key criteria may be important. Here are some basics on how to optimize your videos so they rank better.

Tags/Meta Data – for all you SEO geeks, these fields - title, description, tags, etc. – all go into an algorithm that will your rank/index your videos in YouTube search results. The closer your video is to the top of the page when someone searches for your keyword, the better the chance it will be clicked on.

GOOGLE – It’s important to note that YouTube videos rank on GOOGLE search results as well, so having an optimized video may end up helping your SEO more than you think. Your site may not end up ranking on Google if your keyword is really popular, however, your video may end up at the top of Google organic search results.

Keywords – Optimize your video for certain keywords and sprinkle them in your meta-data as well as descriptions. For YouTube keyword research, use https://ads.YouTube.com/keyword_tool

Link Building/Interlinking – Linking to other videos in the descriptions or annotations also helps your video’s SEO.  Also, link to other sites through urls in your description (“http://” text is automatically converted into hyperlinks).  Link to a landing page on your main site.

Related Videos – You might think Youtube’s main search is best way to get your video noticed, but actually, majority of YouTube organic views (views not generated by paid ads) come from related videos. Thus, relating to the right video can be crucial. Related keywords should be taken into account in your SEO efforts.

Activity – The more active your video has, the better your ranking. Views, comments, stars, interlinks, etc, all count activity. One way to generate activity is to actually reply to comments on your video and get discussions going!

Annotations – Annotations count as activity. It engages the user with your video – engaging the user is always a plus. Ask people to comment, bookmark, subscribe to your channel, go to another video, etc.

Geographic Location – If your organization does local services, it’s always important to indicate geography in your profile since some search results can be geo-targeted.

YouTube Settings and Configurations

Title – Having a good title may make a difference in enticing a viewer to select your video. A video that’s called “206485.mpg” probably won’t attract as much views as a video titled “MOST AMAZING SKATEBOARD STUNT EVER!!!!”.

Description Field – You have 27 characters before your message becomes “…”, so use that space wisely. Link to your website or state a call-to-action.

Thumbnails – Though YouTube limits the thumbnails you’ll be able to choose to represent your video, it’s important to choose a good thumb from the options they do give you. Obviously, a still with an attractive looking person is more likely to entice viewers to click over say a blank black screen.

Playlists – Playlists show up on YouTube search results, so be sure to create good playlists.

Channel – Your channel should be treated like a landing page.  It’s your organization’s video page!

  • Profile – Make sure to fill out information about your organization – sites, interests, about/bio, etc. Users will land on your channel and look to this area as a birds-eye view of your organization.
  • Featured-Video – Make sure to choose an important featured video that you would like to draw attention to. Also, make it auto-play so your YouTube channel views will be counted towards video views.
  • Activity Feed – Use your activity feed to update your subscribers – similar to any social networking newsfeed.

Measuring Your Progress

Traffic On YouTube: YouTube Insights – YouTube now offers some great statistics on every video you upload. Login to your account on each video on your video page you’ll find an “Insights” button. This dashboard allows you to see for each video your views per day and the demographics of your views (geographic location, gender, etc). You can measure the success of a YouTube campaign by seeing if it caused your video views to spike on certain days/months.

Traffic From YouTube – Using analytics tools such as Google Analytics allows you to see if a popular video has generated traffic to your main site or ecommerce product. You can adjust your marketing strategies for your videos based on these metrics. Say adding a link to your site in the description of your video increases traffic to your site. You now know to do that for all videos!

Summary

  • Create an interesting video that will make viewers want to pass it on to their friends.
  • Increase your ranking by following good YouTube SEO Practices
  • Set up each video to have good branding, call-to-actions and conversion links to your respective site/product.
  • Measure your videos’ performances.

Jun 10
2010

Recently Avinash Kaushik shared with his Facebook friends that his blog reached the following millstone: “# of comments on my blog = 8,000 today! Context: 221 posts. 471k words in posts. 742k words in comments.”

That is an average of 36 comments per post and 92 words per comment. Congratulations Avinash!

For Analytics oriented bloggers such as Avinash, I am sure as much as they love and appreciate all their blog readers they will always value the engaged readers who make the effort to drop a line or two seeking clarification, encouraging them to write more or giving them feedback.

This segment of blog readers is by all means the fuel that keeps bloggers alive and encourages them to continue to write and share what they have in mind. Therefore, studying and analyzing the behavior and the user experience of this segment is very important for optimizing the blog to achieve your blog objectives.

In this post I will walk you through few basic steps that will help make this segment of engaged readers available in your Google Analytics report.

Assumptions:

  • You have Google Analytics installed in your blog
  • You are using WordPress as a platform for your blog (of course you can apply the same method to other blogging platforms)

The How:

Our approach is a three-step process:  add custom code, create a Goal in Google Analytics which tracks the number of comment submissions and then create an advanced segment for those who converted.

Step 1) Add custom code to the comments’ form code:

Since in WordPress there is no unique confirmation page – thank you page – that visitors see once they have submitted their comment, we will need to fire a virtual page every time the “Submit” button is clicked.

We will need to modify the comments form’s code and add some JavaScript code to it. The code will fire a virtual page every time the “submit comment” button is clicked. The code for the comments form is found within the comments.php file, which can be found under your WordPress theme folder [../wp-content/themes/default/comments.php]

  • Add the following code to the onclick event of the “submit comment” button:

onClick=”javascript: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/comment-submission.php']);”

Below you will see how the code will look after the JavaScrip insertion, this depends on the version of the Google Analytics tracking code you are using:

Asynchronous snippet

<p><input onClick=”javascript: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/comment-submission.php']);” name=”submit” type=”submit” id=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”Submit Comment” />
<?php comment_id_fields(); ?>
</p>

Traditional snippet

<p><input onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/comment-submission.php’);” name=”submit” type=”submit” id=”submit” tabindex=”5″ value=”Submit Comment” />
<?php comment_id_fields(); ?>
</p>

Step 2) Create a Goal:

Every time the virtual page that we created in step 1 is fired, it will trigger a conversion and the hit will be available in the Goals report.

  1. Log in to your Google Analytics account and then click “Edit” beside your profile. You will need to configure goals for each profile you want the Goal to show up in.
  2. Click on: +Add Goal
  3. Enter the following Goal Information:
  • Goal Name: Blog Comment Submission
  • Active Goal: On
  • Goal Type: URL Destination
  • Match Type: Head Match or Exact Match (in this case both will work)
  • Goal URL: /comment-submission.php

Step 3) Wait a Few Days and Analyze your Goal Performance

Your Goals will not work backwards, so you will need to wait for Goal data to appear in your reports. Now you have the number of comment submissions.

Is creating a goal is enough for our deep analysis? Not really! It will be nice if we can analyze traffic only from this specific segment of our blog visitors. Advanced Segments is the answer!

Step 4) Create an advanced segment

Now let us create an advanced segment that only shows the visits of those who submitted comments.

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
  2. Advanced Segments > Create a new advanced segment
  3. Select the “Goal Completion” Metric for the Goal that you created in step 2

By applying this segment, now you will have more insight about the  blog commenter’s user experience, their traffic sources, geographical locations, time on site, browsers, screen resolutions, etc.

Apply the same concept to your email subscribers, contact-us requests, social media followers or any other segment of your blog readers you are interested in learning more about.

Happy Analyzing :)

Related Posts